Friday, June 15, 2007

Wrapping Round Bales

Our new neighbor is new to farming, having lived in the city all her life. She bought two acres from my father-in-law two years ago and built a house across the road from us. Now she is fascinated with everything farming.
Yesterday we were wrapping round bales and she came over to watch and see what it was all about. It is a pretty interesting process. We are new to it since we only started doing this last fall. As you can see above, Jason loads the round bale into the wrapper with the tractor. (affectionately known as the Kubota) You can't see it on the front but there is a spike on the front of the tractor that is used to spear the bale and lift it up. Wet bales can weigh from 1500-2000 pounds.
When the bale gets against the big plate at the back of the wrapper it starts it up and it is pushed against all the other bales. The big round wheel spins around and that wraps the film around the bales at the same time the whole machine moves backward away from the tube of bales and lets them gently slide off onto the ground.

This whole process is supposed to duplicate a silo. The film seals out oxygen and the hay ferments making baleage. At the end of a tube we ductape the film over the end of the last bale then seal it closed. Of course we are very careful not to back into the tube so it doesn't get nicked or torn. We ductape any tears so that it stays sealed. It works pretty well if you get the hay in at the right moisture level.

Then you end up with long white snakes in your field. Or if you buy the other kind of wrapper you get little marshmallows. We didn't buy an individual wrapper. They are slower.

Next time she is going to watch us round bale. Now that's exciting.

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